Five years ago, Dana White said he changed his mind about Women’s MMA Fights after the Ronda Rousey vs. Miesha Tate fight. Here’s our original story published five years ago this week on his about-face…
Dana White’s opinion on women’s MMA has been very well documented over the last couple years, with his hard line stance that there aren’t enough women at a high level to make a viable division in the UFC. On top of that, he’s simply not been a fan of women fighting in the first place.
However, following the Strikeforce Women’s Bantamweight Championship bout between Miesha Tate and Ronda Rousey earlier this month, White is changing his tune on the sporting aspect of women in MMA.
“When you talk about women’s MMA, I say the same thing all the time, there are not enough good women to create an entire division [in the UFC],” White explained again in an interview with MMANytt.se (transcribed by VendettaFighter): “But every once in a while there will be a fight, and Miesha Tate vs. Ronda Rousey was that fight. I mean… Miesha Tate, she’s one of the best in the world in her weight class, she’s tough and she’s nasty man. I mean to sit there, I know what it’s like to be in an arm bar, I tell you what, I would have tapped to what she didn’t tap to.”
“So as much as you heard me say two minutes ago how stupid it is not to tap you gotta respect it too,” he continued. “And she got out of that first arm bar, it would be one thing if she got in that first arm bar and was like ‘I’m not tapping.’ She got out of that first one and when Ronda Rousey gets you in an arm bar, that’s serious shit. I’ll tell you right now and I will be 100 percent honest with you, I was never a fan [of women’s MMA]. But I will tell you this, being honest, Ronda Rousey vs. Miesha Tate have changed my mind, they have changed my mind. I was excited for that fight, it was an awesome fight, they both looked like two skilled mixed martial artists and they changed my mind.”
“So If more Miesha Tate’s and more Ronda Rousey’s keep popping up, the answer is yes [to a female division in the UFC].”
Penick’s Analysis: There’s the opening, right there. White is being converted slightly, and if more and more women can put on fights like that one and the Sarah Kaufman vs. Alexis Davis fight on the same event, it’s going to bode well for the future of women in the sport. If more and more can make a name for themselves, and if more can put on great fights, it will be the convincing that White needs to go along with Lorenzo Fertitta and give the reins of women’s matchmaking to Joe Silva and Sean Shelby.